July 12, 1936 – June 11, 2023
As most of our clients are aware, Richard “Dick” Cooper, original founder and former President of CJM, passed away this Summer (June 2023). We want to pay tribute to Dick for his tremendous service to CJM and the financial planning profession as a whole. For several decades, Dick helped to push and grow the financial planning world into the client-centric, ethics-driven community that it is today. Dick was a leader – serving as one of the first presidents of the IAFP which is now known as the FPA (Financial Planning Association). He was also a pioneer – helping to start the shift away from commission-based product selling to fee based comprehensive wealth management. He truly embraced the concept of the fiduciary standard – making decisions in the client’s best interest.
Dick was born in Washington, D.C. and soon moved with his parents and sister to Fairfax County, VA. He graduated from Fork Union Military Academy and the University of Virginia. Dick was an ardent supporter of both schools throughout his life. He and his wife Nancy were married in 1957. Upon graduation from UVA, Dick was commissioned in the U.S. Army, where he served 2 years of active duty. After several years of working in Northern Virginia, he founded Richard L. Cooper & Associates in 1978 which eventually became the firm CJM Wealth Advisers that we all know today. Dick and Nancy were married for 66 years – amazing! Dick made sure he was constantly surrounded by his kids, grandkids and ten great-grandkids, all of whom he adored spending time with.
Dick was fun, gregarious and a great storyteller. All of his former clients certainly can remember a humorous anecdotal tale involving “Mr. Cooper”. They will also remember his generous heart and ethical standards which focused on helping his clients achieve their goals. That basic principle continues to be a foundation here at CJM 45 years after Dick originally founded the company. Thank you, Mr. Cooper, for having the courage and leadership to create this amazing firm; we look forward to honoring and continuing your legacy for many decades to come.